Friday, September 05, 2008

Groups fear impact of adventure tourism in Ky.

Sportsmen and environmentalists don't always see eye to eye, but their leading groups in Kentucky both question plans for expanding adventure tourism in the state.

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo is trying to develop a state-wide adventure tourism infrastructure that would include a trail across the state for activities such as horses, ATVs, hiking and mountain biking. On Thursday, Mongiardo gave assurances that the plan would not affect sensitive natural areas, but organizations such as the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and Sierra Club worry that the trail would cross wildlife management areas and nature preserves.

In the Lexington Herald-Leader, reporter Andy Mead cited the new director of adventure tourism for Kentucky as declining to rule out the possibility that these areas could see later development, saying that trails would not be created in these areas that he could foresee.

Mongiardo argues that the infrastructure will help regulate trail usage. Mead writes that the lieutenant governor "spoke of a permitting and licensing system that would collect money from ATV riders and perhaps other trail users. The money would be used to build and maintain trails, and to pay for extra employees for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, which would enforce rules on the trails."(Read more)

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